The first concert of the 18th Other Minds Festival of New Music (OM 18), held on February 28, 2013, commenced with an engaging panel discussion moderated by Other Minds Executive and Artistic Director, Charles Amirkhanian. Joining Charles on stage are the concert’s featured performer’s, recorder player Bolette Roed, accordionist Andreas Borregaard, and violinist Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen of the Danish based Trio Gáman; bansuri flute virtuoso G. S. Sachdev and his tabla accompanist Swapan Chaudhuri; as well as Sunleif Rasmussen a composer from the Faroe Islands. Members of the Trio and Rasmussen talk about the Faroe Islands a sparsely populated archipelago situated north of Scotland with a rich tradition of engaging folk music. G. S. Sachdev then talks about the structure of an Indian raga, which he says is primarily melodic in nature, with any harmony arising almost accidentally. He also describes how as a son of a businessman he was not initially encouraged to pursue music and had difficulty in being taken seriously as a student in a culture where professions are strongly identified with a particular family. This difficulty of gaining familial approval for a musical career is echoed by Rasmussen, whose father wanted him to be a sea captain and Chaudhuri, whose family hoped he would pursue a medical career, and who instead got a degree in economics before finally finding his calling as a table player. Other topics discussed include the popularity of world music; how Indian musicians can adjust a performance to fit within a predetermined amount of time; and the wide variety of tones that can be produced by such simple open hole instruments such as the flute and recorder.
The concert then begins with the Trio Gáman performing a selection of arrangements of traditional Nordic music from the Faroe Islands, Denmark, Greenland, and Sweden. They also perform two more recently composed works:
Accvire In 2008 I got a commission from the ensemble Gáman for a new piece. They told me that they also would perform arrangements of Nordic folk music on the same program. So I decided to write a modern piece that had folk music elements. The music is constructed as imitation techniques, both tonal and rhythmically. The piece is in three parts. - Sunleif Rasmussen
Together or Not In an e-mail sent February 3, 2013 to Charles Amirkhanian the composer Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen writes, “The title of the piece IS the program note.”
After an intermission the concert concludes with two ragas performed by G. S. Sachdev on flute accompanied by Swapan Chaudhuri on tabla.
Raga Shyam Kalyan & Raga Bahar Ragas are designed to help activate specific chakras, which allows the Kundalini energy to rise easily and energize and nourish the chakra. The raga also influences the chakra to maintain its optimum spin and balance, ensuring a balanced energy supply to different organs that are connected to the specific chakra.
The raga Shyam Kalyan helps activate the Mooladhara chakra. Chastity, innocence and wisdom are established in the process. The raga develops the quality of the Earth Element, i.e., gravity within, and our sense of smell and direction.
The raga Bahar is amongst the popular seasonal ragas of Hindustani music. The word Bahar is of Perso-Arabic origin, and connotes flowering. The raga itself could also be of middle-eastern inspiration. Appropriately, the raga is associated with spring. One view of the time-association is that the raga can be performed at any time of day or night during the spring season. Another view suggests that it is ideally performed after midnight. A third view is that it can be performed at any time during the spring season, after the sun has crossed the zenith - from the Program Guide
Note: The performance by the Trio Gáman was made possible with the support from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation and the American-Scandinavian Foundation. “Together or Not” was commissioned by Other Minds.
For more detailed program information and to browse other material in the Other Minds Archive visit: radiOM.org